“After the game, I went back home. Some European teammates called me and said, “Hedo, are you sleeping?” Then they told me where they were hanging out, which is actually 100 meters away from my home. I said, “OK” and when I arrived, all the guys were here. And if you check the camera records, you will see that I left there in 15-20 minutes with Andrea Bargnani. I guarantee it. And if they prove me wrong, I will give back my contract!” said Turkoglu.
“The day after, the whole controversy erupted. They claimed that I intentionally skipped the game. And the worst thing is that the people making the claims were from Raptors’ management and they wanted to suspend me for two games. My attorney settled the dispute and Mr. [Bryan] Colangelo promised me that things would stay between us. The following day, I was fined and did not play against Miami.” Turkoglu said in the interview.
“When the circumstances turned against me, I lost my enthusiasm for this city. My lawyers have talked to the front office recently. Honestly, I do not want to go back to Toronto. My lawyers talked to Mr. Colangelo and I hope that they will come up with a solution soon” said the 31-year-old.
“During this process I talked to [Raptors head coach] Jay Triano several times. I promised him that whether he starts me or not, I will do my best on the court. However, if I had a more temperamental personality, I would have left the team. Yet, I did exactly the opposite. I did my best. I told him that I have no problems with him. I am not a young player, so it’s not a big deal for me to come off the bench” said Turkoglu.
Chris Bosh took time from his European vacation to tweet yet another missive that actually has some significance.
“Still on vacay having a blast,’’ Bosh told followers on his twitter account. “Big decision to make very soon. Sorry for the short absence but my mind has been everywhere.”
From the moment the Raptors finished their season, the second time in as many years that it didn’t involve a post-season appearance, Bosh has stated his wish to work alongside the team to accommodate a sign and trade, if a departure from Toronto is in his best interest.
Technically, Bosh remains property of the Raptors until July 1 and can also exercise a player option for
$17.1 million U.S.
To date, Bosh has yet to say whether he’s opting out, but the signals he’s sending, at least through his Twitter account, is that he will opt out of his deal.
Rautins is slated to workout for 8-10 more teams, including the Raptors if they can align their schedules, though with the 13th pick overall and no second round pick, it’s unlikely at this point Rautins would fit into Toronto’s plans.
Rautins is a flat-out great shooter but questions remain; as a shooting guard, who is comfortable handling the ball, would he be a natural fit in the NBA and can he match up in an NBA man-to-man defence? His dad answered yes to both questions.
“People are looking at him as a dual role, shooting guard and point guard. Which in today’s NBA economy, it’s not a bad thing to have a dual role,” said Leo.
His dad, naturally a little biased, said that Andy prepared himself incredibly well for the workouts and that’s why his stock has risen.
“As soon as the season ended, he started working out with (strength and conditioning coach) Kyle Meadows, Chris Bosh’s guy,” said Leo. “As soon as he could, he was out there working on his body, working on development. He really put everything into it, so he was confident going into the workouts.”
The other factor, said Leo, who will coach Andy on Team Canada at the world championships later this summer in Turkey, is his leadership qualities. Andy developed into a team leader at Syracuse and has on the international scene as well. And despite the fact that Syracuse didn’t make it past the Sweet Sixteen, Rautins played well in the NCAA tournament.
“If their big man (senior centre Arinze Onuaku) didn’t get hurt, I think they could have won the championship,” said Leo. “He led a team that nobody thought would do anything this year to their best regular season in school history. The biggest thing you’re hearing from NBA people, is that the fact he knows how to play and has experience, but he also shoots the s— out of the ball.”
Phoenix’s playoff run has delivered yet more evidence that Nash gives everything he has when the ball goes up, the Victoria native’s quick handiwork – trying to set his broken nose on the fly – as powerful a message as his joyous celebration of the play of the Suns’ bench brigade.
Former Canadian Olympic teammate Todd MacCulloch was saying the other day that he hoped Nash, a two-time NBA most valuable player, got a ring, “just so no one can say anything bad about his career.”
He needn’t worry.
But Vince Carter? You’d like to say he should worry, but it’s hard to make the case he does.
Evan as the Orlando Magic have rallied in their series with the Boston Celtics – winning twice in a row to trail 3-2 before Friday’s game – Carter’s reputation as one of the sport’s great underachievers won’t require revision. Impossibly, at least in the eyes of Toronto Raptors fans, he’s made Magic followers lament the departure of Hedo Turkoglu, as Carter has turned into a $16-million (U.S.) spectator when the stakes are highest.
There are bad games at the wrong times, and then there’s Carter’s Game 4 bed-soiling: Three points, two rebounds, three turnovers and 1-for-9 shooting in 30-plus minutes of a game the Magic won despite him, not because of him.
The local media begged him to deliver in Game 5, and all Carter could muster was eight points (3-for-11).
At the end of the day, money and ego are the primary forces at play with NBA players.
When you cut to the chase and eliminate all the posturing, politics and bulls—, it isn’t so much the need to win or pining to be in an environment conducive to winning as it is the overriding need to be the man with the most money that rules.
That is the why the Raptors should simply walk away from Chris Bosh if an appropriate sign and trade isn’t available that serves Toronto’s needs.
That is why Dwyane Wade’s notion of huddling with some of this summer’s free-agent class prior to July 1 must be dismissed.
When an NBA player says he doesn’t know where he wants to play, he’s not exactly being forthright.
He knows, but he just can’t say it for public consumption given how such a statement would compromise the process.
What he doesn’t know is how the process has to be manipulated to fulfil his goal.
At no time in the history of the NBA have so many high-profile players been eligible for free agency.
Franchises will either be shaken to their foundation or reborn depending on how the free-agent dominos play out.